Richmond, Va. (April 1, 2007) â€” Cheryl Majeske wants each day to be one more day she is able to push her Parkinsonâ€™s disease (PD) into the background and live life on her terms. Saturday, April 28, she will join thousands of families, friends, and caregivers in the Parkinsonâ€™s Unity Walk, the largest grassroots fundraiser for Parkinsonâ€™s research.
â€œParkinsonâ€™s disease does not have me, and I am going to New York to show that people can live with PD and still do many of the things they love,â€ said Majeske.
For most of Majeskeâ€™s career as a physical therapist, she was the one helping patients recover and maintain movement through exercise.
She remembers working with PD patients without ever thinking she would become one.
At the age of 46, Majeske was diagnosed with Parkinsonâ€™s disease. The active lifestyle that had included regular exercise appeared in jeopardy. Majeske decided to take her future into her own hands and use exerciseÂ as a primary treatment for managing PD. Majeske corresponds with physical therapy and exercise physiologist researchers throughout the country to utilize current findings on the benefit ofÂ exercise in disease management.
Majeske is attending the Parkinsonâ€™s Unity Walk with her husband, Mike, as one of the five winners of the AZILECTÂ® (rasagiline tablets). â€œMy Exerciseâ€ essay contest.  Her entry talked about how she has made exercise her inspiration and priority in managing her PD.Â In June she will participate in her 3rd Sprint Triathlon, which consists of 0.2 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. In addition to her own attention to fitness, Majeske helped start the first community Parkinsonâ€™s exercise class in Richmond.Â She also developed a web site, www.parkinsonrichmond.com, which provides resources for the PD community.
People underestimate what you can do when you are living with PD,â€ Majeske said. â€œI hope people hearing about the thousands of people walking in the Unity Walk in Central Park will see that we are serious about helping find a cure and we plan to live well with PD until that day comes.